GEORGE BEMARKT. - Identified with business interests in Kansas City for many years and known as a man of sterling character, Mr. Bemarkt is held in high esteem in the community and has shown at all times a distinctive interest in those agencies that tend to promote the social and material wellbeing of the city and county. He has served as a member of the city council and has otherwise shown his loyalty to and appreciation of the institutions of his adopted country. He is a man of broad mental ken and well defined opinions, and his strength has been shown both in his advancement to success in business activities and in his attitude as a citizen.
Near the beautiful city of Breslau, capital of the province of Silecia, Prussia, George Bemarkt was born on the 28th of May, 1847, and in that same section of the great empire of Germany his honored parents passed their entire lives. He is a son of Andrew and Caroline Bemarkt, the former of whom was born in the year 1801 and who lived to attain the patriarchal age of eighty-nine years and ten months. His cherished and devoted wife was summoned to the life eternal at the age of seventy years, and both were devout and consistent members of the German Lutheran church. George Bemarkt, of this review, was the sixth in order of birth in a family of eight children, of whom five are now living. The father was a grain dealer during the major part of his active career and was one of the honored and influential citizens of the community in which he so long lived and labored to goodly ends.
George Bemarkt received excellent educational advantages in his native land, and his academic studies were of advanced order, as may be inferred from the fact that he was educated for the ministry of the Lutheran church, in deference to the wishes of his loved mother, who was most desirous that he should thus become a clergyman. After due consideration and introspection, however, Mr. Bemarkt became convinced that he was better fitted for secular pursuits than for the work of the ministry, and thus he did not receive ordination. In 1869, soon after attaining to his legal majority, he severed the gracious ties that bound him to home and fatherland, and turned his face toward the great American republic in which so many of his countrymen had gained distinctive success and assured position. He crossed the Atlantic and landed in New York city, whence he made his way to Johnstown, that state, where he engaged in the manufacture of gloves. The panic of 1873 worked havoc in all business lines in the eastern states and under these conditions Mr. Bemarkt deemed it advisable to remove to the west, where the financial tension was less severe. He accordingly located in the city of St. Louis, Missouri, where, after following the same line of enterprise for a short period, he engaged in the leather-supply business, in which he there continued about six years. He then came to Kansas City, in 1879, or rather to the old city of Wyandotte, the nucleus of the present thriving metropolis of Wyandotte county. Here he established himself in the leather-supply business, in which he built up a substantial and prosperous enterprise, to which he continued to give his attention until the great packing houses of this city entered the same field, when he found it inexpedient to continue operations in the face of so formidable competition. In 1890, therefore, he made a radical change in his field of activity, by engaging in the foundry business, in which he has brought to bear his characteristic energy and discrimination, with the result that he now has a well equipped and extensive plant and controls a large and prosperous business.
Ever taking a loyal interest in all that touches the welfare of his home city, Mr. Bemarkt, while never a seeker of public office, has not denied his services in such civic position, as is shown by the fact that for two terms he represented the Second ward in the city council, in which his influence was given to progressive policies and in furtherance of careful and conservative administration of municipal affairs. In a generic sense he is a stanch Republican, but in local matters, where no national issues are involved, he is independent of strict partisan lines and gives his support to the men and measures appealing to his judgment. Both he and his wife are earnest members of the German Lutheran church and he is liberal in the support of the various departments of its work, as well as that of the German-American Lutheran church in his home city. Of genial and affable nature, tolerant in his judgment and considerate of the views of others, Mr. Bemarkt has the elements of character that ever beget objective confidence and esteem, and he is thus held in high regard in the city and county that have so long been his home and the stage of his successful activities along normal lines of business enterprise.
In the year 1876 Mr. Bemarkt was united in marriage to Miss Jane Dopp, who was born and reared in Montgomery county, New York, and the two children of this union both died in infancy. Mrs. Bemarkt was summoned to the life eternal in 1901, and on the 6th of January, 1904, Mr. Bemarkt wedded Anna F. Knockstedt, who presides most graciously over their attractive home.
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